Royal Marines

Future Commando Force: Marines Undergo Essential Marksmanship Training

The Future Commando Force is designed to modernise the way Royal Marines operate.

Royal Marines from 40 Commando who make up the newly-formed Vanguard Strike Company as part of the Future Commando Force have been carrying out essential marksmanship training.

The commandos have been evolving and changing how they operate, moving forward to form more agile and lethal strike companies and integrating new technology.

The marines, who cannot be identified because of some of the work they are called on to carry out, were tested on electronic static ranges in Warminster where targets can be brought up from a computer in a central control tower.

They have to pass a series of tests at this level in both day and nighttime before being allowed to move on to live-fire tactical training in a more realistic battle scenario. 

One marine from 40 Commando, who cannot be identified for security reasons, explained how they used technology to remain consistent when shooting in the dark.

"Firing a rifle at night is obviously completely different than firing it during the day.

"With the targets at night obviously you can't see them, so you'd have to use the laser light module to laser the target through an infrared laser beam.

Marines often operate at night.

"You can see through your night vision goggles and that aligns you on to target so that you can fire at night and identify the target."

After passing the tests, the personnel will then progress to a movement phase, firing on the move as part of a team at night. 

Working in groups of 12, rather than traditional sections of eight, is a Future Commando Force concept.

As part of the new Vanguard Strike Company, these marines will lead and inform how Royal Marines and Army Commandos will operate in the future.

The marine added: "Starting back at the basics is essential so that everybody is swept up and at the same level.

"This is quite a basic package for now, but as we transition closer through the year we will be developing more tactics at a larger level to display the Vanguard capabilities of the Future Commando Force."

Vanguard Strike Company will be deployed persistently forward as part of the newly-formed Littoral Response Groups, held at very high readiness for various operations from crisis assistance to immediate offensive action.

The Future Commando Force is designed to modernise the way Royal Marines operate.

It has been described by the Royal Navy as the most significant transformation and rebranding programme since the Second World War.